Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
I grew up in rural Hertfordshire, in a town called Royston. My childhood was lovely, my younger brother and I were (and still are) very close. Our parents always had us involved in something, from crafts and baking to every sport you could imagine.
Where did you study?
I went to the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, and did a Fine Arts degree.
How did you get your business started?
I started printing my designs onto t-shirts and tea towels with a friend (who’s now my sister-in-law), and I sold them on Spitalfields market.
What were the biggest challenges?
I was putting everything I had into this venture, these ideas, and I had to really believe that my products would sell. It all came down to me to decide what the product range should be, and how to get it in front of people.
Who most influenced your work?
It’s not really any one person, just things I see everyday, especially in London. My parents organised a trip at least every month, and we’d visit all the museums and galleries. The city has always impressed from an early age.
Is your work collaborative or your single vision?
It’s just me!
What made you choose your particular medium and why?
I have a background in design; greeting cards, branding and clothing and I was very fortunate to experience working in small businesses. I wanted to create products that made people smile, alongside combing my love for design and business. I love Britain, and Britishness, and was extremely passionate about manufacturing all my products within the UK.
Take us through the creation of one of your designs?
When I start brainstorming, I start looking through fashion and home design magazines for current trends and what colours are popular at the moment within trend forecasting magazines. I also like to visit exhibitions, and just generally find things that inspire me. I then start sketching rough drafts of how I want things to look, whether it’s a typographic piece, or an illustration. I then start creating, usually with Photoshop or Illustrator.
What else outside the art world influence you in your work?
Everything! From the London busses that run past my office window (especially the ones bound for Victoria!), to the way people interact with each other on the street.
What great mentors have you had in your life?
My parents. They gave me the confidence and self-belief to always strive for something that I love.
What aspect of your work gives you the most enjoyment?
Working on new designs, I just love the creative process. It’s so exciting running with an idea, and seeing things grow.
What one luxury can you not do without?
Going out to eat in London. I love getting together with my friends and family and finding new restaurants and pop ups.
What are you reading now and what great books would you recommend?
I’m currently reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey, and learning all sorts of ways to make my life that little bit more organised! But I love The Time Travellers Wife; it’s a book I read again and again, and would thoroughly recommend it!
What actions do you take to keep a certain quality of life?
I exercise regularly, and I try to eat well. My social life is quite active, and I make sure I spend at least part of the weekend out and doing something, whether I’m at an exhibition or wandering down Portobello Road.
What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working on some exciting new designs, as well as building on the product ranges we already have. We’re also expanding… I’ve just taken on my first employee!
Could you list a few brands, people, works that you consider excellent?
Jamie Oliver is an inspiration. Everything from his restaurants and branding to his beliefs, are incredible. I also love Joseph Joseph and Jasper Conran.